“LoQutus developed a vendor-independent approach in which the analysis could sometimes be quite abstract; their use of practical examples from previous implementation experiences made everything more understandable for our knowledge workers." - Luc Poels, Project Leader ICT at Kind & Gezin
Case management methodology delivers critical functional insight into the organisation's knowledge work and existing processes, setting the stage for process improvement
Kind & Gezin (K&G), together with external partners, establishes ‘Huizen van het Kind’ to support local families with children. Its ‘Huizen van het Kind’ programme is now in full swing in Flanders and Brussels. However, K&G had not found a suitable case management system yet to manage its start-up efforts and carry on business, including management of the application process for accreditation and subsidies by prospective ‘Huizen van het Kind’ participants. LoQutus undertook a rigorous but pragmatic project to perform an analysis to determine how K&G could better promote cooperation among its employees and services and in addition, better structure and enhance its information management and work processes for a more streamlined operation.
The goal of K&G, together with its partners, is to create as many opportunities as possible for each child. Based on this mission, K&G has been appointed to monitor the ‘Huizen van het Kind’ programme.
A ‘Huis van het Kind’ is a partnership within which various organisations work together to provide a multidisciplinary and integrated approach to support families with children, young people, and people just starting their families. This local initiative was established in collaboration with local authorities and various partners in Brussels and Flanders. Based on its predetermined objectives, K&G’s aim is to support and monitor the development of the ‘Huizen van het Kind’ programme with a streamlined and effective information management backbone.
Flexibility is key
In order to be eligible for accreditation and possible subsidies as a ‘Huis van het Kind’, prospective participants must submit an application to K&G. This application follows a dynamic process, which ultimately leads to the application being approved or not. Even after approval, the case remains as a living document. Luc Poels, Project leader ICT at K&G, says, “Currently, our case management system primarily consists of Excel-files and email traffic among colleagues. This can make it difficult to effectively share information in a timely manner, which may compromise monitoring. We have relatively good communication within the K&G team, but problems can occur in the cooperation with the various external partners.”
K&G was looking for a new way of working, with support systems that are flexible enough to respond quickly to changing situations. For example, ‘Huizen van het Kind’ can merge or simply de-merge in the long run. The process does not always follow a clearly delineated course. Some decisions may need to change, as the project progresses and everything cannot always be determined in advance.
The organisation entrusted this analysis to LoQutus. “In our early discussions,” Poels says, “LoQutus explained to us how they had performed an analysis in another organisation with a similar flow and comparable problems. That convinced us to partner with them to find a solution to our own problems.”
Poels continues, “The new case management system that will be developed as a result of the analysis of our situation, will help us to automate several processes. At the same time, it will support us in our job as knowledge workers, where we have to gather and structure a diverse set of data and arrive at decisions based on this data. We need a flexible system to meet these conditions. The LoQutus analysis gave us confidence that it will be a case management system that supports us in this way and that will grow with us into the future.”
Pragmatic and business-oriented
Jens Rappé, Project Manager & Analyst at LoQutus, comments, “We approached the analysis using a Case Management methodology. For K&G, this meant being introduced to this innovative methodology, which is specifically focused on Case Management challenges. The primary objective? Acquiring new insights about case management and obtaining critical understanding of the organisation’s current way of working. We looked at the different roles within the organisation, including how both incoming and outgoing information is processed.”
While K&G’s IT staff was substantively involved in the project, LoQutus’ primarily focus was on case managers, a strictly business audience. “In the end, they are the ones who will be using the system,” Rappé explains. “By means of various workshops with knowledge workers, we were able to quickly gain 360° insight into the flow, the challenges and the difficulties they face on a day-to-day basis, etc.”
Luc Poels enthusiastically confirms this statement, saying, “The Case Management methodology used by LoQutus strongly appealed to our case managers. LoQutus conducted a very detailed functional analysis in a very short time and came up with a particularly pragmatic, product- and solution-independent approach. And they were able to present it in a way that was understandable to both business users and IT, serving as a bridge between these two departments.”
New insights into case management
The feedback from the professional staff at K&G was unanimously positive. The knowledge workers appreciated the fact that LoQutus spoke their language and that the solution responded to specific issues in their daily practice that they raised during the analysis. The results of the analysis have now been presented to the IT Department, who is currently evaluating the extent to which these results establish new technology requirements. It is possible that K&G will also call on LoQutus to supervise the implementation, which LoQutus stands ready to do. In addition, K&G is studying whether they should make this solution more widely available in the near future as portal for the partners they work with in order to improve communication and case management even more.
LoQutus’ analysis helped K&G to think about case management in a different and more critical way. At the same time, it offered the IT Department new insights regarding more streamlined operations. The organisation sees opportunities to also apply the methodology in other domains. “A similar project surrounding e-adoption starts in February 2016,” says Poels. “In this project, we are also working together with many internal and external parties, and the information is dispersed throughout the organisation and is insufficiently centralised. This complicates case monitoring and the mutual exchange of information. The similarities between the ‘Huizen van het Kind’ project and the e-adoption project are striking.”